White Sox: Carlos Rodon’s Durability Stalled During Final Month of Season
White Sox left-handed pitcher had a nice run of starts in the Summer but fizzled out before the end of the season after another late start to the year.
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Carlos Rodon had another late start to his season in 2018. After recovering from shoulder surgery he had at the end of the 2017 season, Rodon began this year with a nice start and showed promise as a future ace of the team.
Despite a strong month of July and August, Rodon would see his success vanish in the final month of the season. In September, Rodon would pitch less than six innings in three of his final six starts of the year. In his last two outings of the season, Rodon wouldn’t make it past the third inning in either outing.
Rodon has struggled with durability throughout his brief MLB career. He hasn’t pitched a full season since 2016 as he’s dealt with various injuries. Rodon didn’t make his first start of 2018 until June 9 against the Boston Red Sox. After getting back in pitching rhythm over June, Rodon had an impressive stretch of starts in July and August.
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The 2014 first-round draft pick didn’t have a single outing in July and August that lasted under six innings. Rodon pitched three consecutive starts of more than seven innings in July and had two back-to-back outings of eight innings pitched. It appeared Rodon was cementing himself as the bona fide ace of the Sox this past Summer.
Rodon would end August with a strong seven-inning outing against the New York Yankees on Aug. 27. In that start, Rodon only allowed two earned runs despite four walks and just recording two strikeouts. In the final month of the season, however, Rodon would not only give up more earned runs, but he also allowed more walks.
On Sept. 1 against the Boston Red Sox, Rodon would allow four earned runs for the first time since June 30 when he allowed five earned runs. Rodon had just one start in September where he didn’t allow four or more earned runs. In his final two outings of the season, Rodon allowed six earned runs on nine hits in just 2.1 innings pitched on Sept. 23 against the Cubs and eight earned runs on six hits in just one inning pitched on Sept. 29 against the Minnesota Twins.
Rodon’s ability to have a strong run of impressive outings this Summer won’t go unnoticed. However, his inability to finish well after missing two months of the season is a reason to proceed with caution before proclaiming him as the next ace of the Sox. Rodon has pitched four major league seasons so far, but he’s yet to put his potential all together over a complete year.
If the Sox are going to contend next season or even in 2020, they will need a complete season from Rodon where he is either their best or second-best starting pitcher. Rodon has shown flashes of his ace potential but the Sox have a lot of pitching depth in the minor leagues and he could become more expendable if he can’t put together a consistent year of pitching.